How to set the clarity on your TV

Tips on how to set up your TV properly

First of all, what is “the right setting”? If you’ve been to an electronics store at least once, you’ve probably noticed that all the televisions on display show differently. What does this have to do with? Which one is better?? Let’s find out.

I think you will agree that the TV should not just show a picture, but distort the original content as little as possible. The content itself is always created with an eye to industry standards and recommendations, and the main purpose of any television is to bring you exactly the picture they want to show you. Everything is important here: the actor’s skin tone, and the color of the sky at sunset, and which details of the image should be visible and which hidden. There are international standards which describe how the picture should look on your television screen. You’ve probably seen the letters PAL, NTSC, or HDTV, and these are the letters that describe the characteristics of the video signal and the different picture parameters. With the arrival of HDTV in our lives, most of the standards immediately became obsolete, and, in fact, the most relevant now is the REC709 standard, which is used in high-definition television (HD) and in Blu-ray video. General parameters of the correct image are as follows:. 6500K color temperature (D65). gamma is linear, the recommended value is 2.22, for a darkened room 2.4. recommended brightness ~120 cd/m2. REC709 color gamut (similar to sRGB gamut).

Unfortunately, today’s TV manufacturers adjust their products frankly poorly, because they are not interested in ensuring that their displays conform to existing color standards, but in increasing the sales of those very displays. In an effort to sell more TVs, manufacturers are constantly trying to present “brighter blues” and “vibrant reds” than their competitors. They specifically enhance the brightness of certain colors so that the products look more enticing on store shelves compared to counterparts from other firms. On counters with seemingly identical products, the customer will choose the brightest TV, or the one with colors that seem “deeper”. If manufacturers paid enough attention to the proper tuning of their products, all the televisions on the shelves would show a very similar image.

The only sure way to get the right picture on your TV screen is through hardware calibration. This is done by feeding reference images to the input of the TV and taking measurements from the screen. Next adjust the settings of the TV until the image parameters are as close as possible to those required by the standard. But this setting is quite time consuming, and requires knowledge and, above all, equipment.

Is it possible to get a truer picture on your TV without any hardware adjustments?? Here are a few tips based on my experience of tuning different TVs.

Which picture mode to choose (Standard/Dynamic/Cinema)? On the absolute majority of TV sets the most correct mode is Cinema/Cinema. Do not use Dynamic mode for viewing: due to the non-linear gamma the image is always wrong, and due to the greatly increased brightness this mode strains the eyes, especially if you watch TV in dim light or in the dark.

Which color temperature mode to choose (cool/standard/warm)? On the vast majority of TV sets the Warmest mode is the closest to the standard color temperature (6500K). If you have a choice of Warm1/Hot2 (on Samsung TVs), determine for yourself which one is better. Usually it is Warm2, but there may be exceptions.

What settings are recommended to turn off to get the best image? All settings that adjust the brightness/contrast should be turned off at the TV’s discretion. That is, you should turn off “dynamic contrast”, “power saving mode”, “light sensor”, “dynamic backlighting” and not use “Dynamic” image mode.

How to set the “contrast” parameter correctly? In fact, this parameter is incorrect to call “contrast”, because the contrast is the ratio of the maximum brightness of the white field (white level) to the black level (the minimum luminosity level of the panel). So, the parameter “contrast” in the TV menu changes the white level, that is, the level of maximum brightness of the image.


For plasmas:. it is better to adjust “contrast” parameter in the dark;. display the image with the white level window (100IRE) (links at the end of the article);. set “contrast” parameter to a value close to maximum (90-95);. decrease “contrast” parameter until the image with white level (100IRE) stops “cutting eyes”.

Samsung plasma TVs have a parameter “cell light” (cell light) which has a great influence on the overall picture brightness. You can immediately set it to a value close to the maximum (18-20), and then follow the recommendations.

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LCD TVs are set up a little differently. they have a parameter “backlighting brightness” (sometimes called “backlight contrast”), which has the greatest value for the overall image brightness.

For LCD/LED:. better adjust in the dark;. set the “contrast” parameter close to maximum value (90-95);. display the screen with the white level window (100IRE) (see links at the end of the article);. set the “backlight brightness” parameter to maximum or obviously higher value than needed;. decrease the “backlight brightness” parameter until the image with white level (100IRE) stops “cutting the eyes.

I do not recommend using the maximum values of the “contrast” parameter, because some TVs have color temperature non-linearities when set to the maximum value. Excessively bright picture (and for the real brightness in the TV responsible “contrast” / “brightness of the backlight”) strains your eyes and leads to eye fatigue, keep this in mind when adjusting these parameters.

How to set the brightness correctly? The “brightness” setting determines the black level. You can use a special image “Pluge pattern” to set it to the right position. In this picture the leftmost vertical line is black. To adjust the Brightness setting as needed, first increase the setting until you can see all the bars clearly, then decrease the Brightness setting until the left-most vertical bar fades into the background. In addition, you can use special setup disks, such as AVSHD (link at the end of this article), where under “Basic Settings” you will find the necessary images to configure the basic settings of the TV.

Use the appropriate plug-in equipment and connections

It would seem obvious, but for a quality setup, every detail is important.The issue comes down to the use of pluggable devices with high resolution of the outgoing signal. Watching programs and movies on disc using a regular DVD player is the minimum acceptable. But for quality enthusiasts, a Blu-ray Ultra HD quality player should be the choice.The number of TV channels with 4K resolution is still minimal, but for the gaming world it is already a common standard thanks to the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 consoles.And if you’re serious about investing in 4K content, then you should consider subscribing to a streaming video service like Netflix, which offers a wealth of high-resolution programming.In general, the only connection you should use should be HDMI, unless you have some good reason to use the old interface. Owners of modern Panasonic TVs can take advantage of the DisplayPort function, which is used to connect to a computer and can also transmit a high-quality signal.

Connected equipment, including.ч. Blu-ray players have different output settings, but the format is usually set automatically depending on the TV using EDID. But if there’s something wrong with the connection, you can adjust it manually.To do this, you need to find the picture settings of your TV set-top box, Blu-ray player or game console and determine the parameters of the outgoing signal. Ideally, its quality should be 2160p (t.е. 4K), but Full HD devices no longer reach this value.Often when watching streaming video online in 4K, the set-top box reduces the quality of the original if the TV is not able to play it.If you don’t know what format is acceptable for your TV, select the highest setting on the connected device and see what happens. If a test picture appears and then the image disappears, then it’s safe to conclude that the format is not supported.Go further through the settings of the connected device and select the highest format supported by your TV.Often on some budget 4K models, only some of the HDMI ports support 4K (usually the first two). If your 4K Blu-ray player does not output Ultra HD resolution to your screen, try connecting through another HDMI port.

Some tips

LG’s marketers try to encourage visitors to technology stores to buy their TVs. Devices need to look as colorful as possible on the shelves. Therefore, the factory image settings are set so that the picture is optimal for a room with high brightness (all electronics stores excessive lighting). However, within the framework of an apartment, where there is not such a strong brightness, the screens do not seem so colorful anymore. So immediately after purchase, it’s necessary to adjust the image on your LG TV. Below we tell about the basic parameters, which require correction.


By this term we mean color saturation, i.e.е. the intensity of the selected tone. When the maximum saturation is set, the image appears “juicy”, but your eyes may get tired from such a picture. The minimum index of this parameter is the predominance of gray tones.The default setting is almost maximum intensity (why, described above). In order for the screen to produce optimal characteristics of all colors, you need to set the average values of this parameter.


This term means the balance of black, relative to the entire palette. In simple words. this characteristic determines how the darkest parts of the picture will be displayed on the screen. If it is set at a high level, the image will be faded, partly dull. If this setting is low, dark pixels will be too visible, making it harder to distinguish between similar shades. Adjust the brightness in LG TV necessarily conduct in the room where it will stand. It is also desirable to take into account the level of light. Statistics show that people are more likely to watch TV in the darker hours of the day (early morning, evening and night). Adjustment should therefore be carried out in low light conditions (if you do it in the daytime, close the curtains). It is not recommended to activate the power saving mode. It reduces the level of power consumption, with a noticeable deterioration in image quality. Savings of a few per month are obviously not worth the performance degradation of an expensive device.

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This indicator determines the level of intensity of light elements of the picture (in fact, the opposite of brightness). The maximum value will cause the lightest elements to disappear from the screen. At minimum values the picture is too pale.

Changing the picture format on the TV set-top box

If the TV-set is powered by a set-top box, it is possible to change the picture parameters via its functions. Usually you need to open the menu, go to the “Settings” section, where you select the “Screen” tab. In this menu you can change the following parameters:

  • Picture resolution (screen resolution);
  • screen position;
  • screen rotation;
  • Switching HDR mode.

The list of options also varies depending on the model and manufacturer of the STB. Some set-top box series don’t allow you to adjust the picture position at all, using only the settings on your TV.

Check Samsung’s special picture modes

Samsung provides special viewing modes on its 4K UHD TVs.


From the picture settings menu, select Special Playback Mode.

In the “Special View Mode” category, the following options are available:

  • Sports mode : This option provides the best picture preset for sports and other fast moving content. Displays a brighter image with a lower color temperature, and activates a faster response to motion. Sports mode also activates the stadium sound mode.
  • Game mode : This mode is the best picture preset option for gamers as it sets the TV to a low latency mode. However, there may be a slight decrease in video graphics quality. Game mode requires a connected game controller or console to activate. Once game mode is activated, you may need to disconnect the game console from the TV to switch to other devices connected to the TV.
  • HDR mode : Available only on 4K TV models with HDR support. HDR-encoded content from compatible sources (such as Blu-ray Ultra HD discs and a selection of streaming content) automatically activates the HDR feature of your TV. If you also activate HDR. The TV will adjust the brightness and contrast of HDR encoded content to make objects clearer.

HDR also gives you the option to add an HDR effect to your SDR content. Because this process involves conversion, it is not as accurate as with real HDR content. The result may look blurry or uneven from scene to scene. If you find that the HDR setting is ineffective, turn it off.

Dig deeper with image parameters

This category of settings provides additional fine-tuning if necessary, but may affect AV sync and game response.

  • Noise reduction : reduces video noise present mainly in analog video signals.
  • MPEG Noise Reduction : reduces video noise that may be present in digital video signals.
  • Smooth gradation : this option helps limit the uneven edges (pixelation) that may be present. This also reduces color fringing.
  • Black Level : While the “Brightness” setting provides some control over the black level in the image, it affects the overall image, while the “Black Level” setting provides fine-tuning of darker areas, but has minimal effect on brighter parts of the image. This helps bring out details in the dark areas independently from the rest of the image.
  • Real Cinema : This complements the Cinema preset by keeping the frame rate at 24 fps for Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and related movie sources.
  • Motion Eye Care : automatically adjusts the brightness and blurring of the image, which can cause eye strain. If you don’t suffer from visual fatigue, leave this setting off.
  • TruMotion : Also called motion smoothing or frame interpolation. This setting makes the motion smoother, but can display a “soap opera effect” on movie sources, making the movie look more like a video. This is best for live sports and television broadcasts/recordings, but should be turned off when watching DVD, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc or other movie sources.

How to adjust images on a TV

The quality of the picture on the TV depends on the basic settings of the following parameters:

The primary parameters of the TV set are set by means of test pictures, on which all indicators are checked and monitored. When finished, the quality of the picture on the screen is compared to the actual picture.

The next step is to check pixels and color. Pixels are checked using monochrome images and a grid. The latter looks for combinations in which the performance of pixels depends on the position of neighboring pixels.

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Color quality is monitored with color bars.

Changes made are not always saved. There are several reasons for this.

  • The settings are saved in “HOME” or “Home View” mode. If your set is in DEMO or SHOP mode, change settings.
  • Improper use of the receiver or incorrectly installed software. Follow the manual and reset to default settings.
  • Tv memory malfunction. In this case, the device does not remember not only the picture settings, but also the channels.

Important! In the first two cases the manual will help, in the third. a professional technician to replace the necessary parts.

Setting depending on the TV model

The settings are the same for each TV model. Menu consists of the above five items with the same way of setting the desired parameters. You need to enter the menu and set your preferences. Devices from different manufacturers will differ from each other by the interface. Regardless of the manufacturer, black and white test pictures are responsible for brightness, and gray and white for contrast.


This is not the case with test pictures. They differ in appearance, but they are the same type: monochrome ones test the pixels on the screen, and color ones test the color bars.

Attention ! The format of your TV depends on the model. The most common are Full HD and Ultra HD 4K.

How to check if Auto Frame Rate is working properly

First, the chip must be supported by your TV or connected TV box. In the case of a set-top box, the TV must be able to change the output frequency and resolution on HDMI. Most modern TV-panels support it, but it is still worth checking the specifications.

Secondly, the TV must support all common FPS. Most often, for comfortable movie playback, you need to support 24 frames per second.

Third, Auto Frame Rate should not be interfered with by the built-in image enhancement systems.

It’s possible that the declared support for AFR by TV manufacturer just doesn’t work because of a conflict with other features or when the option is supported on the set-top box but it’s not correctly perceived by the TV and doesn’t give the desired effect.

If all of the above conditions are met, you can check the correctness of AFR in your specific case.

Make sure you set it to the right resolution. Go to your TV or set top box settings and set the correct resolution for your matrix. If your TV supports 4K resolution. set it, no need to set it to 1080p by default on such a panel. And vice versa. do not overestimate the resolution of the playback device if it is not supported by the matrix.

Not always AFR supports changing the resolution and incorrectly set parameter does not allow to get the best picture quality.

Choose the correct frequency. Here it all depends on the most preferred type of content. For example if you regularly watch IPTV you should set frame rate on 50. In this case, AFR will not change the screen settings in most usage scenarios.

You can use the content settings, which are listed in the first section of this article, or ask the provider of your content for the recommended frame rate.

Turn on the Auto Frame Rate feature. It may have different names depending on the operating system or shell used. For example, on many common models of TV-boxes with Android TV this feature is called HDMI self-adaption and is located in the Playback Settings section.

Set a suitable mode for the chip (if you have such an option in your settings). Usually manufacturers offer two modes: partial (part mode) with switching only to specified frequencies of content, or total mode with switching to any frequency of content being played.

Download a test clip to your set-top box. And play it back on your device.

Use any third-party camera app for iOS or a digital camera in manual mode.

Set the shutter speed to 1 second and take a picture of the television.

If Auto Frame Rate is turned on and working properly, you’ll see an evenly colored gray board in the picture. This means that the board is displaying frames per second with each of the squares illuminated.

If Auto Frame Rate is not enabled or conflicts with some other TV thingy, you will see a checkerboard image. This shows that the panel does not have time to display all the desired frames in a second. This is how you can see for yourself that the chip works on your devices.

Now you know what kind of chip to chase when choosing a modern TV in 2021.

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